Want to be a high earner? 25 of America's highest paying jobs

For working Americans, a job can provide a number of meaningful benefits. Dignity, identity, and a sense of purpose, to name a few. For most, however, these intangible perks are of secondary importance to the regular paycheck a full-time job provides.
While the kind of work one finds fulfilling is subjective, there is no debate about which jobs pay the most. The typical American working full-time earns $860 per week — or about $44,700 a year. In more than a dozen occupations, median earnings are well more than double that amount.
High-paying jobs are high paying for a reason. They tend to be highly specialized, often requiring years of advanced — and often expensive — education beyond high school and even college. They are also almost always high pressure and challenging positions that are growing in demand at pace with or faster than the overall job growth across all occupations.
24/7 Wall Street reviewed the latest median pay data from the U.S. Department of Labor to identify America’s 25 highest paying jobs.
25. Management analysts
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,499
  • Number of workers: 606,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 14.3% (faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 78.3%
24. Marketing and sales managers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,509
  • Number of workers: 994,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 8.4% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 69.5%
23. Physical scientists, all other
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,529
  • Number of workers: 270,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 7.2% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 100.0%
22. Financial analysts
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,530
  • Number of workers: 264,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 10.9% (faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 87.4%
21. Mechanical engineers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,534
  • Number of workers: 337,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 8.8% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 76.5%
A robotic gripper that can screw in lightbulbs or use a screwdriver without needing to 'see' them or be pre-programmed to recognize them has been developed at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Video provided by Reuters Newslook
20. Engineers, all other
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,561
  • Number of workers: 546,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 6.4% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 82.0%
19. Chemical engineers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,626
  • Number of workers: 78,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 7.5% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 90.5%
18. Computer network architects
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,636
  • Number of workers: 100,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 6.5% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 58.7%
17. Environmental scientists and geoscientists
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,639
  • Number of workers: 80,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 11.8% (faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 100.0%
16. Information security analysts
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,725
  • Number of workers: 94,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 28.5% (much faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 67.6%
15. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,736
  • Number of workers: 112,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 3.5% (slower than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 73.9%
14. Judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,742
  • Number of workers: 59,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 5.8% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 98.3%
13. Physician assistants
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,747
  • Number of workers: 97,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 37.3% (much faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 92.3%
12. Computer hardware engineers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,771
  • Number of workers: 73,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 5.5% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 76.1%
11. Software developers, applications and systems software
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,792
  • Number of workers: 1.4 million
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 11.1%-30.7% (much faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 84.5%
Software developer is the fastest growing job in the tech industry. Time
10. Electrical and electronics engineers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,803
  • Number of workers: 276,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 6.5% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 79.5%
9. Veterinarians
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,840
  • Number of workers: 60,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 18.8% (much faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 100.0%
8. Nurse practitioners
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,841
  • Number of workers: 141,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 36.1% (much faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 99.1%
7. Computer and information systems managers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,843
  • Number of workers: 594,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 12.0% (faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 73.9%
NASA's Tess spacecraft embarked Wednesday on a quest to find new worlds around neighboring stars that could support life. (April 18) AP
6. Aerospace engineers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,892
  • Number of workers: 137,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 6.1% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 86.3%
5. Lawyers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,901
  • Number of workers: 781,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 8.2% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 98.3%
4. Physicians and surgeons
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,918
  • Number of workers: 815,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 12.8% (faster than average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 99.5%
3. Pharmacists
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,923
  • Number of workers: 254,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 5.6% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 97.6%
2. Architectural and engineering managers
  • Median weekly earnings: $1,999
  • Number of workers: 128,000
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 5.5% (as fast as average)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 84.7%
1. Chief executives
  • Median weekly earnings: $2,296
  • Number of workers: 1.1 million
  • Projected job growth, 2016-2026: -3.9% (Decline)
  • Workers with at least a bachelor’s degree: 69.5%
Findings and methodology
To identify the highest paying jobs in America, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed 2017 annual averages of median weekly earnings for full-time wage and salary workers by detailed occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of workers employed in each occupation was also obtained from the BLS. The estimated yearly earnings for each occupation was calculated from the median weekly earnings figures. For more on how this list was determined, click here.
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